Sat, 30 Apr 2005 08:15:14 -0400
I am not sure what you guys are doing besides pulling or cutting the
mature plants to control this monster, but I would like to share a few
methods of control I have been working with.
As some of you know, I am an Estate Gardener here in SW Ohio. The
understory of our woodland areas are dominated by three nasties. Lonicera
maacki,Ranunculus ficaria and Alliaria petiolata.
Flame weeding Is the first method. This has been around for some time now.
I think the dutch started using this to weed there gardens. The thing looks
like one of those torches the highway dept uses to flame those rubbery
painted lines so they peel off easier. Also roofers use them to get tar
pliable. The operate of a propane tank. Timing is everything. Newly emerging
seedlings are the most susseptible to flame. This is why it is so good for
the garden. Most more mature plants can tolerate the passing flame while the
seedlings fry. Around here garlic mustard germinates in late febuary to
early march. At this time of the year most everything else is dormant or are
rosettes that arent harmed by the flame quickly passing over. Once the
seedlings develop there first true set of leaves it is too late. It seems
you can hold the flame on them until they are cooked but they still seem to
survive . I have yet to burn the forest down.
The second method of vinegar spray relies on the same timing. The spray
fries the seedlings without harming our groundcovers or more mature plants.
It will burn things but not fatally. Staight vinegar works pretty good. I
have been diluting it with some luck. There are industrial vinegars that
have much higher acidity.
I know this isnt applicable to every situation but thought it might help
some of you folks.
Now on a culinary note. Garlic mustard does have one redeming quality. Its
edible. I use it in any recipe calling for brocoli-rab. The tops and
unopened buds are the best part to use. Just sautee in some olive oil with
garlic. Throw some sauteed shitakes and sundied tomatoes and toss with
cooked pasta and fresh parmisan and your set.